Industry Minister’s Comments to AFR regarding application of R&D Tax Incentive to Software

August 6th, 2019 Comments to AFR

The AFR has reported that Industry Minister Karen Andrews (whose responsibility includes oversight of the R&D Tax Incentive) recently met with representatives of high profile Australian start ups and parties from venture capital firms.

Attendees at the meeting included personnel from Airtasker, who had a previously lodged R&D claim found to be ineligible by regulators, which had been previously highly publicised in the media.

Ms Andrews was quoted within the article as:

  • being concerned by the dropping level of business expenditure on R&D in Australia;
  • stating that “as technology increases in importance and there is a greater emphasis on software, we need to make sure that we’ve got that balance right. I’m very keen to talk with the sector again, more broadly, and particularly investigate the software part of the R&D tax incentive.”

Representatives from the technology sector present at the meeting were quoted as feeling that as a result of the meeting, the minister may look to reflect on how the R&D Tax Incentive was being applied to software companies.

Whilst these discussions are positive and important, companies registering software R&D Activities must continue to be mindful of the scrutiny placed upon software claims, along with their reporting and documentation obligations.

AusIndustry released updated guidance on the eligibility of software development activities in February 2019 which claimants should ensure they review.

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